Tuesday, January 24, 2006

jump suits



jump suit!
A continuous in-seam zipper and expandex chest and arm breathing panels make this aerodynamic suit able to expand and contract with movement. The built-in hood has criss-crossing straps for an adjustable contoured fit eliminating the "blind spot" of most hoods. The bell-like leg cuff design repells water splashing back to the ground. Black nylon cire. Green leather and white cotton piping. The enigmatic creation of eugene tsui.

Monday, January 23, 2006

western, non-western

I just had a big debate with a friend about the distinctions of "western" and "non-western" in academia (there is a required “non-western” history course at GSAPP). The question is weather these terms are still useful distinctions? Every geographic location has its own unique primitive culture, but nowhere on the planet is truly isolated anymore. And intrepid Australian and Japanese backpackers are voraciously exploring, and for the most part, congenially initiating those last few groups of somewhat isolated people through adventure travel, like the manifest destiny of globalization, in which the least explored places are the most desirable. In this context I think that we need new words and taxonomies for style and culture. At the moment "western" is standing in for non-native or some sense of meta-networked culture or maybe the culture of global wealth. And "non-western" stands in for "primitive" or other less networked practices. You might not agree with these distinctions and I am still trying to define them myself, but what is clear to me is that the word "western" in this context is no longer a geographic distinction, and its usefulness is increasingly dubious.

I was just looking at Hel Looks a catalog of street fashion in Helsinki, and was amazed at how much a lot of these kids look like the kids in Fruits, street fashion from Japan. It was one of those moments when you want new conceptual lense to understand the world. Finland is one of the most homogeneous societies in the "west"(replace with better term) with a strong design culture and so their adoption of street style form tokyo must be part of the "western" experience? I don't think so. The manner of adoption is very different for the anesthetization of the rococo designers of the 17th century who included "oriental" elements in there compositions. I think that there is a great deal of implicit empathy for their not-so-other in the style decisions of the kids from Hel Looks. Thanks Jean for the link.

potential liner pattern


scorched paint

Sunday, January 22, 2006

cute potential

Thursday at our first meeting, Hernan Diaz Alonso made the argument that grotesque is the opposite of cute. But, I have always seen a fine line between grotesque and cute, with plain as their opposite... what do you think? The relationship between pleasure and pain, with numbness as its opposite might be a parallel? Maybe these generalisations are not useful... but I love to generalize and link things, so here is one more: Maybe if something is Grotesque and small it has more cute potential and if it is Grotesque and large it is more likely to be Sublime like a rugged mountain range .

envelope liners

aetnan liner

chase liner

ben van brecht of un studio got me interested in envelope liners. there is a range of quality but the good ones are definitly MQ.

Friday, January 20, 2006


A superstudioesque view of my courtyard. It is the most compelling space that I past through daily. The grid of rivets which secure the retrofit-bat-insulation, balance the nearly imperceptible mesh spanning the opening.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I've been thinking a lot recently about what validates and encourages creative activity. I've also been considering the structures and institutions that wheeled that power. I guess that I see a parallel at the moment between the power of museums and the power of the courts, in which the MOMA is the equivalent or the US Supreme Court for art and architecture -- wielding an incredible amount of power and doesn't usually dealing with the most important issues of the time. What is included in a collection and why, is always interesting and usually political. As a group we are always forgetting, editing and destroying the past and ostensibly a museum counters that process by storing artifacts and re-presenting them in the future. That process however, is finite and really, that is the good news. The question then becomes what and how much of something should be preserved. What are the implications of curation in general, or atleast the effect it has on people who see something exhibited in an official context.

The above thoughts are a side effect of an interest I've had recently in having a blog to curate my own thoughts. The indorsement "museum quality" was stamped into the leg of a plastic dinosaur that I had as a kid, and I was reminded of it recently by my brother. The Diplodocus had come with a Dino-Rider toy set that included three action figures dressed in space suites and a battle station equipped with "twin laser tale guns, dual neck cluster rockets, and hidden armed battle pods" etc... As well as the accolade of "museum quality" being stamped in the leg, a picture of the dinosaur, sans battle gear on the outside of the box, made a similar claim: "Museum Quality Replica." But replica of what? Other more original toy dinosaurs? Artistic depictions of dinosaurs? The story gets even better though, because I just look up Dino-Riders and discovered that because the toys didn't sell, Tyco was able to repackage them and sell them with the endorsement of the Smithsonian:

"Tyco actually received an endorsement from the Smithsonian Institution, which was apparently impressed enough with the technical accuracy of the sculpts that it was willing to license its name for use on Tyco's products. The situation was great for Tyco because it found itself with all these excess Dino-Riders that didn't sell and all they had to do was basically repackage them. The dinosaurs were basically the same as the Dino-Riders except that no figures or weapons of any sort were included with them. They were sold individually and in two packs."